Even Day: National / Michael Woodhouse demands that Parliament be Suspended from sitting in person because, and I quote, “it is not safe” and the Government should therefore “use the tools available to them”.
Now, it can be pointed out that Woodhouse is actually saying that it’s the Government’s perception that having Parliament physically (rather than virtually) sit is “unsafe” – although given that Parliament sitting requires MPs flying in from all over the country, presumably including Auckland, to then sit in an enclosed environment shouting at each other … I think that that’s a pretty fair presumption.
But here’s the thing. National demanded that Parliament sit in this manner. Labour – against its better judgement – went along with this.
National is now complaining that Labour compromised and allowed National to have what National claimed it wanted.
National never wanted it at all. What they WANTED was a fight. A grand ole opportunity to make it look like the Government was attempting to shut down democracy, and that National was standing up against this. Get that Winston Churchill painting out of the attic – not for Dunkirk Spirit, but the sort of “silly-buggers” which caused Anthony Eden to have a nervous breakdown in the mid-1950s when the former was well past his prime.
Labour hasn’t given them the satisfaction – not only rolling out an eminently reasonable proposition for a virtual Parliament which we know works based on previous experience from last year … but then going even further and actually just accepting National’s demands here.
Are they satisfied? No, of course they’re not.
Instead, they’re upped the stakes. Basically DARING Labour to actually roll out the virtual option – which Labour (and the Greens) would be entirely within their rights and democratic mandate-(super)majority to do.
If they don’t, then pushing the line that things aren’t as bad, aren’t as dangerous as the Government’s claimed.
And even where they haven’t, still getting in that magic “UNILATERALLY” word to make it seem like Order Sixty Six is being executed by our beloved PM riding ‘cross the Rubicon on an armoured vehicle and/or ute.
This is playing politics, pure and simple. It’s gone beyond “Opposition For Opposition’s Sake” and into outright opposing what they were up in arms about a mere five minutes ago (literally, last week they were vigorously opposing any suspension of in-person Parliament as an abuse of the Prime Minister’s power – now they’re demanding she in fact do it).
If they look this inept, and this bad when they’re coming down to us through a media headline – how on EARTH do they think they’ll look better in front of the collective nation repeatedly embarrassing themselves during Question Time!